EU cooperation with the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO): how to move towards full membership

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Series Details PE 694.415
Publication Date June 2021
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The Council of Europe (CoE) has been playing a crucial role in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law for more than 70 years. The fight against corruption is essential for maintaining the rule of law. Corruption undermines the functioning of the state and public authorities at all levels and is a key enabler of organised crime. Effective anti-corruption frameworks, transparency and integrity in the exercise of state power can strengthen legal systems and trust in public authorities . The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is the CoE’s anti-corruption body. It is currently composed of 50 member states, with others expressing an interest. Apart from all European Union (EU) Member States, its members include countries such as Belarus, Switzerland, the UK, the USA and, most recently, Kazakhstan, which joined in 2020.

The EU supports the work of the CoE by contributing to its budget to fund joint programmes and supporting cooperation in the legal field to foster political dialogue. The EU became an observer to GRECO in July 2019. The objective of this workshop is to exchange views on the EU’s potential full membership of GRECO in the future. In the context of the preparations for the organisation of the workshop, the Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control has sought the opinion of Parliament’s Legal Service on the possibility for the EU to become a full member of the CoE Agreement establishing GRECO. This paper will present GRECO and its work, GRECO cooperation with the EU and the conclusions of the opinion of Parliament’s Legal Service.

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